From an objective standpoint, there is one thing I am sure of: life…is amusing.

While at times it can be filled with successes, triumphs, and victories, it can also include challenges, struggles and, at times, complete and utter failures.

There are times when I am beaming with confidence, with the belief I can accomplish anything I set my mind to…then, there are times where I find myself drowning in my own insecurities and self-doubt.

While it is easy to enjoy the good times and revel in our successes, the thing that most of us struggle with is how to deal with the many tribulations that occur on a daily basis. Finding the right coping mechanism to deal with stress can often be a struggle in and of itself.

On January 22nd I was able to attend the “Coaching Circle: Positivity in Challenging Situations” event hosted by Jeannie Phillips. The session was focused on how to overcome frustrating circumstances, and the different methods we can use to overcome our future struggles.

The session began with Jeannie asking us to share some of our past challenges and successes with the group. After briefly talking about each item, we selected one challenge from our list that we all felt we could relate to. In this case, it was “taking things personally.” Once the topic was decided, Jeannie selected a volunteer for a one-on-one coaching session in front of the rest of the group.

As I watched Jeannie ask the volunteer open-ended questions like “What sorts of thoughts go through your head when you begin to take things personally?” and, “What are some ways you can change this negative thinking?” I began to passively ask myself the same questions, formulating my own answers to my own personal insecurities. In this way, I was able to think for myself rather than have someone just give me the answer I thought I was looking for.

At the end of the exercise, Jeannie had the volunteer construct a concrete action she could perform the next time she “takes things personally” using the format, “I will <what> by <when> to address <my specific challenge> with this topic.” We then went around the room and named our own personal challenge, stating the specific action we will take against it.

This exercise not only gave me insight to my own insecurity, but it also gave me an actionable plan to use against it when the challenge presents itself.

Yes, I still think life is amusing.

However, this experience provided me with the tools and insights necessary to maintain positivity the next time life decides to throw me a curveball.